In Daylights, In Sunsets, In Midnights, In Cups Of Coffee

, , , , , | Right | February 24, 2021

I work in a very popular chain coffee shop. Most days are pretty basic — a few entitled people here and there but nothing too crazy. On this particular morning, I open after getting about five hours of sleep and have to work with someone I’m not fond of. Halfway through the morning, a couple walks in and comes up to the register. I’m in the middle of taking their order when the man interrupts me.

Man: “You look familiar… Did you work here around this time last year?”

Me: *Slightly confused* “Yes.”

Man: “Oh, my God! Your name is [My Name], right?!”

I’m now even more confused, trying to remember this man’s face. 

Me: “Yeah.” *Chuckles awkwardly*

Man: “Yeah, I remember you! I came in and ordered fourteen drinks at once. You made them all so well and without complaining!”

Me: “Oh, wow! You remember that?”

Man: “Yeah! They were all, like, super-customized drinks! It was awesome. I kept trying to tip you but you said you weren’t allowed to take tips.”

Me: “Were the drinks good, at least?”

Man: *Laughing* “Yeah! You were so awesome that I remember you from a year ago!”

Me: “Oh, my God! That’s amazing. Thank you so much! That just made my day!”

I was smiling so hard and trying not to tear up because after a rough morning, hearing this guy talk so highly of me really touched me. I hope he knows how much I really appreciated the sentiment. Customers like him are rare, but they are the reason I tolerate customer service jobs.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for February 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for February 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for February 2021!

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Charity And Tolerance Aren’t Working Today

, , , , , | Right | February 24, 2021

I’m at the register, taking orders, all masked up, as usual. This fine lady waltzes in without a mask at all, so her fine face is on full public display.

Me: “I beg your pardon, ma’am; where’s your mask?”

Customer: “I don’t have one. Do you have a spare one?”

Me: “No, we don’t. Sorry.”

Customer: “Well, can I place an order, anyway?”

Cue my manager. 

Manager: “I’m sorry, but we can’t serve you unless you have a mask.”

Customer: “Well, what about charity and tolerance?”

She says this in a rather whiny voice.

Manager: “We can still serve you in the drive-thru.”

Customer: “Can’t I pay for it here and then go through the drive-thru?” 

Manager: “No. Either go through the drive-thru or leave now.”

Customer: “Charity and tolerance! Remember charity and tolerance!”

Luckily, it didn’t escalate into anything serious. She did go through the drive-thru after all, and even then, she kept pulling that “charity and tolerance” card on us. Both my manager and I couldn’t stop rolling our eyes at each other.

Sure, lady, we’ll be REAL generous with the germs. We’re only wearing these masks for pure fashion.

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An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 10

, , , , , | Right | February 23, 2021

I manage a coffee shop that is part of a larger company — and thus subject to corporate customer service rules — and is currently open for takeout only. We are very strict about mask-wearing: no mask, no service, and it must be worn correctly over the mouth and nose for the entire time you’re in the café. Most of our customers are good about following policy. Others… less so.

A male customer comes in with his mask tucked under his nose. It’s a quiet afternoon, so he’s the only customer at the moment. My male coworker starts to take his order and I step in.

Me: “Could you pull your mask up a little, please?”

I mime covering my nose.

Customer: “Oh, sure.”

He rolls his eyes a little but does pull his mask up. It’s not quite covering his nose properly, but it’s much better than it was, and we have a plexiglass barrier between us and him, so I consider letting it go, until he opens his mouth again to my male coworker.

Customer: “So, what did you study in college? Microbiology, some other science?”

I know where this is going already and am preparing to defend the mask policy and refuse service if I have to. He’s obviously angling to get us to agree that masks are unnecessary so he can pull it down again.

Coworker: “I mean, I took some biology classes in college and high school. But my focus was psychology.”

Customer: “Oh, so you took some science. You know how this works. You have to keep your mind sharp.”

He turns to me, sounding condescending.

Customer: “And what did you study, performance art? Marketing, liberal arts?”

Being female and/or asking him to wear his mask properly must mean I’m not capable of understanding science, apparently. I am immediately furious and don’t bother to keep my customer service voice up.

Me: “Why do you ask?”

Customer: “I’m just curious.”

I bite back the many things I would love to say if I thought I could get away with it and keep my job.

Me: “Yeah. Pull your mask up, please.”

He did. My coworker handed him his order and he left. It infuriates me that he probably walked out thinking he was right.

An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 9
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 8
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 7
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 6
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 5

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Bye-Bye, Bigot!

, , , , | Friendly | February 21, 2021

I’ve been shopping with my husband. My seven-month-old is tired and fussy, so he drops us off at a coffee shop so I can breastfeed her whilst he finishes our shop. The only seat left is next to their loud vintage coffee machine and it keeps startling her from her feed.

As I sit, I watch a couple of older ladies point and snicker at a transgender woman who is minding her own business. They’re loudly commenting on her hair, dress, and stature, clearly unhappy with her even existing.

A table with an upholstered chair comes available and I get up, ready to move, as I’m struggling to carry my toddler — still feeding — and bags. The ladies loudly tut at me and sigh about “young mothers and unfortunate degenerates.”

All of a sudden, a chair is thrown back and the woman they were commenting on takes hold of my bags and coffee and makes a path for me to the table. She settles us down without saying anything, smiles at my copious thanks, and goes back to her table without any fuss.

Suddenly, a loud comment is directed at me.

Woman: “She could have asked if you needed help. How rude!”

Me: “At least she helped! You just bloody stay there, you miserable, small-minded cow! Enjoy your coffee and leave us ‘unfortunate degenerates’ alone.”

They silently finished their coffee and left. When my husband came back, I explained and he also thanked the kind woman. She refused all offers of thanks but reaffirmed my belief in humanity. Wherever you are, thank you!

This story is part of our Best Of February 2021 roundup!

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Read the Best Of February 2021 roundup!

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Not A Customer-Employee Matcha Made In Heaven

, , , , , | Working | February 18, 2021

My friend and I are sitting in a coffee shop and have ordered our drinks. Despite not being busy, it seems to take a long time for anyone to get served. We grab a table in sight of the collection area and wait… and wait and wait.

Eventually, they call our names and I collect the drinks. We chat for a bit and then I take a sip.

It’s a matcha (tea) latte, and while normally bitter, this tastes just wrong. I grab some sweetener and it gets worse the more I drink. Even the colour is wrong; it’s normally light green but this looks brown. I go up to the counter to try to get it sorted.

After a long wait to get served, I explain.

Me: “I’m sorry, but this is disgusting. It is brown and so bitter I can’t drink it.”

Barista #1: *Dripping with sarcasm* “Yeah, that would be the coffee in it.”

Me: “What? It’s a tea; there is no coffee in there.”

Barista #1: *Sighs* “Look, if you don’t like the drink, you shouldn’t order it.”

Me: “I do like the drink, but it’s disgusting. Do you have a manager here?”

Barista #1: *Smirking* “I’m the manager on duty today.”

Me: “You know what? I’ll just talk to someone who knows what they are talking about.”

She waves me off sarcastically. I ring the corporate phone line and explain that the “manager” managed to put coffee in my tea and that they just didn’t seem to care. They give me a large gift card, and I return the next week to spend it.

Me: “Can I get a matcha latte, please?”

Barista #2: “Sure.”

Me: “Oh, and no coffee in that, please.”

Barista #2: “Sorry?”

Me: “Last time, someone put coffee in it.”

Barista #2:  “Don’t worry sir, there’s no one here that will make that mistake again.”

I’m not sure what happened to the sarcastic manager, but I never saw her there again.

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